What Do Environmental Engineering Technology Graduates Do? Are you interested in the dynamic relationship between human activity and the environment?

Are you passionate about improving public health, increasing biodiversity, and restoring our natural resources?

Do you want to work in a rewarding field where you can put your knowledge and skills to use in order to assess, manage, and prevent critical environmental concerns such as waste disposal, recycling, and climate change?

As an Environmental Engineering Technology graduate, you can apply engineering principles and technical skills to real-life situations, performing exciting hands-on activities to preserve our planet and ultimately help generations to come

Environmental Engineering Technology Graduates

  • Work closely with environmental engineers and scientists to develop methods and devices used in the prevention, control, or correction of environmental hazards.
  • Inspect and maintain equipment affecting air pollution, recycling, and wastewater treatment systems to ensure that pollution control requirements are met.
  • Prepare, test, operate, and modify structures, equipment, and systems used to prevent or mitigate sources of environmental pollution.
  • Conduct pollution surveys to collect and analyze samples such as air and ground water.
  • Arrange for the disposal of lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials.

Major Scientific Breakthroughs in Environmental Engineering Technology

  • Sewers: Sewer systems transport large amounts of waste away from populated areas, preventing deadly outbreaks of disease.
  • Bioswales: Bioswales cool water that has heated up while traveling across pavement before it reaches natural bodies of water, where warmer water could harm wildlife.
  • Hybrid-electric vehicles: Hybrid cars use combustion engines and electric motors in order to yield better gas mileage than standard cars, leading to major gains in fuel efficiency.
  • Ecosan (ecological sanitation) systems: These systems include various designs of environmentally-friendly toilets that generally require little or no water, while isolating waste to prevent odor and disease.
  • Agroforestry: Agroforestry, or the simultaneous management of trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock for more efficient and environmentally-sustainable land use, increases product diversity, agricultural production, and soil and water quality.

Areas of Employment

  • Environmental or safety management
    • Wastewater treatment systems
    • Watershed protection
    • Environmental health and safety
    • Air and water pollution control and evaluation
    • Environmental regulatory compliance
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Testing labs
  • Government agencies
  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Recreation
  • Environmental consultant
  • Sustainability manager
  • Park naturalist
  • Hazardous waste technologist

Career Guidance Suggestions for Pre-University Students

Coursework to Consider:
  • Pre-algebra
  • Geometry
  • Advanced algebra
  • Engineering fundamentals
  • Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Trigonometry
  • Geoscience
  • Biology
  • Hydrology
  • Physics
  • Project management
  • Environmental law
  • Surveying
  • Statistics
  • Robotics
  • Programming
Suggested Extracurricular Activities:
  • Competitions
  • Summer programs
  • Afterschool programs
  • Clubs
  • Internships
  • Online puzzles and games
  • Online courses
  • Maker faires
  • Design projects
Local Programs Offered by:
  • Science centers and museums
  • Professional societies like IEEE
  • Universities
Important Skills:
  • Observational skills: inspect facilities and evaluate situations onsite to ensure compliance with important codes and regulations.
  • Communication skills: listen well and report back to group or team leader, when necessary.
  • Interpersonal skills: work in teams with other technicians, engineers, and scientists to develop and execute plans as smoothly as possible.
  • Critical thinking skills: be able to think critically and logically in order to identify problems and implement solutions in a timely manner.
  • Reading skills: read and understand legal and technical documents to ensure that regulatory requirements are met.
  • Research skills: collect surveys, evaluate samples, and measure data for the development and implementation of systems.
  • Detail-oriented: review technical documents to check for completeness and accuracy.

Links and Resources

  • American Academy of Environmental Engineers: a group of select engineers that helps develop accreditation standards for environmental engineering programs and creates study groups to find solutions for major environmental problems.
  • Air and Waste Management Association: an association of environmental professionals that promotes global environmental responsibility through public education and outreach.
  • Water Environment Federation: a nonprofit organization that works to preserve and improve the global water environment by offering relevant news and information on topics such as wastewater and the water environment, related careers, professional certification, and upcoming workshops and conferences.
  • Soil Science Society of America: an international educational group dedicated to the conservation and use of natural resources to produce food, feed, and fiber crops while maintaining and improving the environment.
  • The National Association of Environmental Professionals: an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to developing the highest standards of ethics and proficiency in the environmental professions.
  • American Water Works Association: the largest nonprofit, scientific, and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water by providing solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy, and enhance our quality of life.
  • The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering: a professional association with over 1,000 innovative members who share technology, management, and applied engineering ideas, research, and applications that positively impact the future.
  • American Society of Certified Engineering Technicians: the only national, professional society created especially for, and administered by, engineering technicians and technologists in all engineering disciplines.
  • American Society for Engineering Education: a nonprofit organization of individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology.